In the summer we ran a competition alongside Britain magazine, offering the chance to win a short break right here in Leicester. The lucky winner was Tracey Titley and she has written about her first ever experience of visiting Leicester right here!

My partner and I have just returned from a fabulous weekend break in Leicester, courtesy of the Britain Magazine competition.

We were delighted with our hotel, St Martin’s Lodge, found in the centre of Leicester, with free parking. The hotel is beautiful.  We stayed in the fabulous Junior Suite, with a view overlooking the Cathedral. An enormous room, stylishly decorated, with an extremely comfortable king-size bed, separate dressing room and the bathroom offered a fabulous walk-in shower and rolltop bath. The hotel has a lift to all floors and a plethora of bars, eateries and shops on its doorstep.

We started the weekend off with a relaxing massage at Femi Health and Beauty. We received a fabulous welcome and were treated to massages in their Couples room. We left feeling relaxed, pampered and ready for the weekend. We would thoroughly recommend.

Friday evening, we dined at the Sonrisa Comida Argentina Restaurant, a few minute’s walk from our hotel. Reservation is recommended, as it is very popular. We were greeted warmly and seated quickly at our table. The atmosphere was buzzing and vibrant. We had tasty starters of Calamari and Creme de Jamon Iberico. This was followed by perfectly cooked sirloin and ribeye steaks, served with potato terrine and chimichurri, which spiced up proceedings. We added a side of broccoli with chili, which also warmed up the palette. We finished off our enjoyable evening with a few glasses of wine, a short walk back to the hotel and a good night's sleep. 

Saturday morning, we wandered the winding streets of the Lanes and happened on the Outdoor Market. A visit to the newly refurbished Corn Exchange Wetherspoons set us up for the day with a Full English Breakfast.

We then headed to the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which was fascinating. We discovered not only about his life, but also how his remains were found and came to lie in Leicester Cathedral. Our visit finished with refreshments in the lovely cafe, which has a pretty outside courtyard to enjoy in warmer weather.

We then did a spot of shopping, Leicester has a brilliant choice of shops.

Saturday evening was probably the highlight of our weekend. We enjoyed dining on the Great Central Railway Steam Train from Loughborough Station called the Charnwood Forester. The train was set up for fine dining. We were treated to a superb five course meal. We chose Garlic Mushrooms, Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup, Lamb Noisettes with Dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables, chocolate orange gateaux, cheese board and finished off with tea/coffee and chocolate mints. The food was excellent, the service very attentive and the drinks reasonably priced too. A memorable evening indeed.

Our stay came to an end on Sunday Morning with breakfast at the Observatory Beefeater en route to the M1.

One shout out, having some mobility issues, we found the town centre very user-friendly with lots of seating about, which was welcome.

We had an absolutely fantastic weekend and have left with great memories. A huge thank you to Britain Magazine and Leicester City Council for organising this special weekend. Leicester was a revelation, so full of history, things to do, friendly people and a vibrant nightlife. The only shame was it wasn't longer and that the Cathedral is closed for refurbishment. But on the positive, this gives us reason to return for another visit. Thank you Leicester.




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